SANTA MONICA—Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department have arrested a suspect connected to several attacks and murders of individuals who were sleeping on the streets of Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Two victims who were recently killed in Los Angeles were homeless, while a third was found dead underneath the Santa Monica Pier on September 20.
During a press conference, Captain William Hayes of the Los Angeles Police Department indicated that the suspect would randomly walk about to homeless man sleeping and assault them repeatedly with a baseball bat above the head and shoulders. Hayes noted that none of the victims who were attacked regained consciousness or were able to disclose to the authorities any details about the suspect.
On Monday, September 24, officers from the Santa Monica Police Department received a radio call about a man suffering from head trauma in the 1500 block of 7th Street at 6:51 a.m. After arriving on the scene, officers found the victim unconscious and suffering from injuries to the head that were consistent with blunt force trauma, noted Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD.
Paramedics from the Santa Monica Fire Department treated the victim on the scene, who was later transported to a hospital for treatment. Officers searched the region, and located a possible male suspect in the 600 block of Broadway Avenue. Following a preliminary investigation by SMPD Detectives, the suspect, Ramon Escobar, 49, from Houston, Texas, was placed under arrest for the assault. He remains in police custody.
Escobar is believed to be responsible for several attacks on homeless individuals in the Los Angeles and Santa Monica regions in recent weeks. He attacked and robbed two of his victims in Los Angeles on September 16. The names of those two individuals killed have not been disclosed to the public. Escobar is suspected to be involved in the disappearance of his uncle and aunt, Rogelio Escobar and Dina Escobar who went missing from Houston, Texas in August. The LAPD suspect that Ramon Escobar was homeless. Escobar is believed to be responsible for the following crimes in Santa Monica:
On September 8, at about 6:45 a.m., a male victim was discovered in the 1800 block of the beach suffering from significant head trauma. The injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma to the head.
On September 10, at about 6:51 a.m., a male victim was discovered in the 1800 block of the beach suffering from significant head trauma. The injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma to the head. The victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.
On September 20, at about 6:40 a.m., the deceased body of Steven Ray Cruze was discovered underneath the Santa Monica Pier. Cruze, who is not homeless, suffered injuries consistent with blunt force trauma to the head.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed the following charges against Escobar: three counts of 187 P.C. – Murder; five counts of 664/187 P.C .- Attempted Murder; and four counts of 211 P.C. – Robbery. Escobar will be arraigned on September 26, 2018 in Division 30 at the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building.
Escobar is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, who had been deported from the United States six times. He won his recent appeal against the immigration court in December 2016. He has multiple felony convictions for burglary and illegal re-entry.
Anyone with information regarding these attacks, is asked to contact the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Detectives at (213) 486-6890. Anyone with information about the Santa Monica incidents are asked to call Detective Leone at (310) 458-8943; Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942; or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.
Written By Antoinette Flores and Casey Jacobs